Automated installs (very long)

Gerald W. Carter jerry at Eng.Auburn.EDU
Tue Oct 7 22:10:37 GMT 1997

Jason Gerrity wrote:

> I would really love a peek at your 'magic boot disk'.  I'll show you 
> mine if you show me yours :)  I would love to have a completely
> hands-free install.
> Gerald, what's your set-up like?

My setup is a little different in that mostly what I am doing is
supporting public labs.  Faculty PC's are a free for all ( at the moment
).  All the machines in a lab are completely identical.

Therefore I need one machine configured and I can pull the image across
the network ( ghost works well for this although it can be ( as noted )
by using a linux boot floppy and 'dd' ).  The need to automate things
comes from the fact that ( for security and stability ) I restore the
system registry from a backup copy at boot up.  We have several thousand
students come through some of our labs every quarter so I want to keep
things as clean as possible.

Due to the restoration of the registry, the machine will always think
that it is the first time a user has logged in.  Really annoying and
confusinf to Freshman :)

I also wanted central control of the standard icons on the desktop and
in the Start Menu.  This way if a user deletes an application icon ( or
I want to change the shortcut in some way ), I can change it in one
place and they get it the net time they log in.  

The machines in my labs are really hard to reconfigure because of the
way we have them locked down ( software wise ) so I try to find ways not
to have to touch the client.

                          Gerald ( Jerry ) Carter	
Engineering Network Services                           Auburn University 
jerry at   

       "...a hundred billion castaways looking for a home."
                                  - Sting "Message in a Bottle" ( 1979 )

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